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Thread: What's the Real Value of Preventative Maintenance?

  1. #21
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    Sep 2018
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    Give the customers their moneys worth , clean the flame sensor rod , clean out the combustion area , make it better than you found it.
    Check the coils and clean , make them happy and do a good job.

  2. #22
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    A simple thing as sanding the flame proof can save them big bucks in the future
    As well as brushing the leaving burners face . They work together

  3. #23
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    Oct 2011
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    In commercial, other than cleaning the filters, it isn't worth it I think.

    How many times have you gone on a rooftop, especially on strip malls, and found 1/3 of the equipment not running, and they haven't been for years.

    Good luck trying to get any system replacements out of those. They don't even care that it hasn't been running. They throw a couple space heaters in for the tenant and/or give them a couple box fans and tell them to make do. Slumlords. So many more of them in commercial, IMO.

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  5. #24
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    When I had my business two of my first contracts were area BoJangles & BurgerKings. Not a single unit was operating at design. Stripped every unit to the base pans, cleaned heat exchangers, replaced belts & pulleys, inspected all components, adjusted charges (extreme variations from specs), added suction temp stats on kitchen units, adjusted gas pressures, cleaned registers, corrected ducts, etc.
    For ~ 5 years only replaced one compressor that indicated problems on initial inspection. monthly inspections & pms . Reliable operation & lower operating cost. Prior had several replaced compressors each year & comfort issues.

    Found frequently even commercial jobs under contracts by others had major issues, when surveying found a high % of sump heaters out, low air flow, improper charge & other problems. Industry stats show that over 90% of commercial equipments are not operating within design parameters. Lots of missed opportunities. Just in a review of contract inspections of one company, ~75% of the reports indicated unaddressed issues that should have been corrected but were not due to lack of training or other reasons.

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  7. #25
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    I like commercial PMs. Replacement of sheaves is usually needed on some locations where clowns used screwdrivers to change belts for 20 years. Their is always something new like incinerators for farm animals.
    If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.
    ― John F. Kennedy

  8. #26
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    Feb 2004
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    The newer the equipment the less likely there will be problems but down the road things will brake.
    Equipment picked right is much better than in past years. A bit like new cars.
    I remember a property manager that when I asked about a potential problem he said "No, I want to let it get worse."
    He was saying it because I knew he was a former Jar Head and they like everything ship shape.

    It's worth it for the few times you'll find something broke. Or not running right.
    I've seen guys walk past an air compressor on a pneumatic system making so much noise I thought it was going to walk
    out of the mech room but no one paid attention. Some guys seem to fall asleep o maintenance.
    Plus maintenance contracts, priced right, are 60% profit.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    If a person wants to create a machine that will be more likely to fail...Make it complicated.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

  9. #27
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    We have commercial accounts with ancient equipment where we just change filters and belts. They dont want anything else done on maint. Stuff runs and runs and runs.

    My home system is 92 vintage. Ive put two contactors on that got burned by bugs in them. I change my filter sometimes usually before its dirty.. sometimes when I notice the suction line outside frosting up and hose off the outdoor unit every once in a while.

    Gauges... maybe two three times to try out a new tool like gauges or thermometer.

    If you tried to put your gauges on my system I would get a brick in one hand and tell you to back away from my equipment. I dont know where those gauges have been.. dont know whats lurking in those hoses and manifold... lol
    The bible is my constitution and the constitution is my bible.

    WE THE PEOPLE refers to THEM and not YOU.

    B I N G O. bingooooo

  10. #28
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    Jan 2022
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    For restaurant reach-ins, I think it makes a big difference, especially if it's a greasy place. Belts last for a while but it's good to find problems before they break, especially on exhaust fans. AC coils don't get too bad in general but walk in condenser water comes out black after a year untouched. Drains, and minor things that could get bad. Obviously filters. I know it's worth it for us because of-- as mentioned--being the go to for an account and keeping busy when it's slow. I think for a lot of no refrigeration places maybe more than once a year is overkill, but there really are places that benefit from quarterly or even monthly.

  11. #29
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    Jan 2015
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    Bellevue, Washington, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by dooner90 View Post
    Of course the obvious answer is that we're preventing an unplanned failure of equipment.

    Here's my problem: I have an issue justifying a PM when I go to a location, change the filters, and do a visual inspection on the usual suspects with no real changes to the unit. Sure, I take notes if something is a bit worn or out of whack, and I might even take some of the components off and clean them (a flame sensor, burners, grease motors etc.), but a lot of this stuff seems like a waste of the customer's dough -- especially if it's brand spanking new equipment. I kind of like the saying "if it's not broke don't fix it." Have you ever cracked a piece of equipment when doing a PM? I haven't, but the tech takes that chance every time they disassemble something for routine inspection. Filter changes and other line items are essential, but where do you draw the line? What's an effective way to do PMs when it seems that little value can actually be provided to the unit? I might get beat up for the post but that's fine, i always welcome criticism.
    It's largely a liability thing for the manufacturer and its a way to maintain a relationship with the client. Most of the time there's really nothing to do, but I check it over and make sure it's safe and running healthy. That's a good thing. But really when you think about it the manufacturer says check it once a year because if the furnace fails in some dangerous way because they made a crappy HX their lawyers can safely argue "well your honor they were not maintaining it like we recommended so we aren't liable for loss of life, or property damage." So it's a way to help them get out of paying for a failure if it leads to litigation. Now on the other hand you have your installers who hope to sell more equipment so they offer low cost tune up promotions. and if the furnace is more than 12 years old your boss wants to you professionally condemn the appliance. So when you weigh the pros and cons to the customer I'd say maintenance plans are probably bad when you think about it. At the end of the day there's more risks the homeowner than benefits. I'm glad I don't push them..... instead I just teach them how to replace filters, and of course if they are welcome to call me if they have questions about something. That's how I sleep well at night in this line of work

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